Mysore rockets open for public at Shivamogga palace

See to believe it

Bamboo models of Mysore rockets (left case) and the unused iron rockets on display at the Shivappa Nayakain Shivamogga. dh photo

As many as six unused iron rockets known as ‘Mysore rockets’ belonging to the Hyder Ali era are on display for public viewing in Shivappa Nayaka palace in Shivamogga.

Sources in the archaeology, museums and heritage department confirmed that the gallery is open for public now. But the official inauguration is likely to be held in December. The rocket models, made of bamboo, are also on display in the room to show people how they were used in wars in the past. The Shivappa Nayaka Palace has become the world’s first museum to displays six iron rockets.

Speaking to DH, Assistant Director of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage department R Shejeshwar said higher officials of the department would take a call on the entrance fee. But people can step into the gallery and view the rockets now.

He said two iron rockets which had been designed and developed by Sir William Congreve in 1804, popularly known as Congreve rockets and designed after the Mysore rockets, are on display in London.

The Bengaluru museum has a collection of three iron rockets. So, Shivamogga palace becomes the world’s first museum to display six iron rockets. A sword is also on display in the gallery.

The City Corporation has decided to renovate the palace at a cost of Rs 17 crore under the Smart City project without harming the original structure. The work is expected to start soon.

The roof of the room where the iron rockets belonging to the era of Hyder Ali, the 18th-century ruler of the erstwhile Mysore state, are displayed for public viewing had faced leakage problem.

The palace was a bungalow earlier, and it was constructed by Venkatappa Nayaka, a king of Keladi Nayaka dynasty that ruled the Shivamogga region in the 17th century.

Later, Shivappa Nayaka rejuvenated it. Hence, it has been named after him. It is said that Tipu Sultan’s summer palace in Bengaluru was constructed based on the architecture of the Shivappa Nayaka Palace.

In July 2018, about 1,800 rusted iron rockets were reecovered by a team from the Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage in a dried-up well at Nagara, Hosanagara taluk in the district.

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